Last year (pre-COVID, of course!), I sat down with goals expert Pádraic O’Maille to discuss goals. Pádraic is a motivational speaker and business coach, who has guided many businesses through journeys to reach their goals, such as large Irish brands Supermacs and Aer Arann.

Setting goals in your business helps drive the company’s objective, sales and growth. Realistic goals motivate teams to achieve success. Goal setting is a must-do for any business – but how do you actually create effective, evolving goals? Here are 3 tips Pádraic shared with me.

1. Create Your Goals

– Goals tend to fall into a few specific categories. Pádraic has nicknamed these “The 4 Ps”.

– Brainstorm your goals and choose a couple of key ones to focus on. You’re more likely to achieve your goals when there are fewer. Don’t spread yourself too thin with too many. Overarching goals are generally long-term and will take a lot of your time to achieve.

– 2-3 key overarching goals is a realistic base. You’ll have plenty of short-term tasks, broken down from those long-term goals, to take up your attention and time. Achieving these short-term goals allows you to meet your long-term targets.

2. Write them down

– Once you have identified your goals, it’s important to record them. It doesn’t matter what kind of system you use, as long as you get them down in writing. Make it a real, concrete thing that you’re actively working towards. Put them in a journal, in an online document, or use an app, such as:

  • Strides – this is the current leader of the field. It can track all kinds of things and has a very user-friendly interface. It allows you to track when you did things weekly, not just daily. Unfortunately, though, this app is only available on iOS!
  • – this app gives you access to professional coaches, but also a supportive community. You can track your habits for free but hiring a coach costs money. It depends what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to pay for it.
  • Beeminder – this one makes you pay (literally) when you break your habits! If you want a stricter system, this is the one for you.

3. Have a deadline

– One thing that our minds respond very well to is a timeline. Give yourself a predetermined amount of time to complete your goal – “I will get from a to b in x time.” Don’t be vague – the more concrete, the better. A deadline allows the goal to feel real and achievable and gives you a sense of satisfaction once it has been realised.

– Deadlines work best when they’re immediate. This, of course, isn’t possible for a huge goal you might have. You should break your goals down into small chunks, and give these small targets the deadlines. If you want to run a marathon, aim for 5km in a fortnight’s time. Make hitting your targets a daily habit.

With the above 3 tips, you can start setting your goals.

1. Choose your overarching goals

2. Choose the methods of tracking your progress

3. Give yourself a deadline

Then you’re ready to start actually working towards achieving!. Let us know in the comments what you’re planning to achieve over the next few months.